Deliberate chaos is an interesting thing to look at. Do you see others creating or do you yourself create chaos? Chaos is confusion, extreme drama, disorder and even mayhem. People deliberately create chaos for many reasons – to maintain control by unsettling those around them, to avoid having to deal with something, to create energy that they can use for themselves or to cover up something they do not want others to see. They may do this consciously or unconsciously, but the effects on themselves and others are the same.
Take a look at creating chaos relating to yourself and observe those around you. What do you see?
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Sometimes, things drag on much longer than necessary, causing needless delay, missed opportunities and other complications. Is there something, right now, that it is time for you to deal with? Take some action and get it out of the way. You’ll lighten your load and make room for the next exciting thing.
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Overwhelm gets you off track. It can be a dangerous place to be in terms of your stress level, making mistakes or messing up. There is energy expended in your overwhelm that can be transformed into productive energy. If you find yourself in overwhelm, try these five things to prevent crashing and to get back on a productive track.
1. Stop and bring yourself fully to the present moment.
2. Observe what has happened and center yourself.
3. Find a way to release the emotions and stress you are feeling.
4. Reorient yourself, identify what you can get done and set priorities.
5. Start working again, fully present to what you are doing.
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Periodically, you can face setbacks and changes in your career. Some of these experiences involve loss, as well as endings. What can you do in the face of them? You can continue.
Often, these experiences leave you in a new place. Start by looking around at your new environment. Then, proceed to continue productively. That way, you take the best of you along.
The next time you experience a major change or setback, commit to continuing productively from old to new, with all of you.
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For many years, I studied personal growth and development with Lynn Andrews. One concept she taught was that of surrender versus sacrifice. The idea was that when an uncomfortable situation arose, you had choice regarding how to respond to it. Surrender, in this context, was accepting how things were and then choosing a response. Sacrifice was responding by harming yourself in some way – giving up on goals, not taking care of yourself, giving your power over to someone.
Say, you are in a circumstance where someone is saying you must do something that you do not want to do. First, look honestly at what is happening. Where do you have control and where do you not have control? If there are aspects of the situation where you have no control – surrender to them. If you have control, maintain it and avoid sacrificing yourself.
Can you see the power in surrender? It is being in the present moment and acting realistically. Once you surrender, you are fully present and can decide where to go from there.
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Your gifts and talents lie within your uniqueness. You are not a carbon copy of anyone in this world. When you know yourself, you can take that awareness and amplify your strengths into a fulfilling career and life.
What is your biggest strength? Take some time to name it. Then, ask yourself these questions regarding your current work:
• How often do I get to use this strength?
• Am I recognized by co-workers and managers for having this strength?
• Am I experiencing a lack of use or respect for my strength?
• What direction can I take in my career that will showcase my strength?
Using your unique gifts and talents is the foundation of creating a career pathway that lets you be the best that you can be.
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You know that often there is more to a story than what appears on the surface. Good to keep this in mind as you navigate your career. Say you are dealing with a work culture of hidden agendas on the part of managers in an organization. The organization’s values and mission say one thing, but day-to-day you experience something very different. You can stay with the outwardly stated values and mission or look deeper at what the actions of management tell you about their true values and mission.
In many cases, you do not know what is happening if you do not explore the shadow side. You can do so with keen observation, judging by actions, not words and knowing that much lies below the surface. Is there a shadow side at your place of work?
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Lull: a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.
How do you respond when a lull shows up? Do you get uncomfortable with the lack of activity, embrace it, use it productively or enjoy it?
How many lulls have you experienced recently? In our sped-up world they are rare. A lull may show up because of a deadline pushed forward, an easing in the flow of work or in a transition that hasn’t completed yet.
When a lull shows up, you have options on how to use it. Here are a few ideas:
• rebalance your life and work
• use the open space to rekindle your creativity
• catch up on things that were not getting done before
• observe your reaction to the quiet and what it says about your pace before the lull
• enjoy it
Lulls are precious- use them to your advantage.
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Towards the end of 2019, a friend said to me that 2020 was going to be his year of reaching out. He was naming his year and setting a powerful intention.
By naming your year, you too can set a powerful intention to refocus on as 2020 progresses.
What do you want this new year of 2020 to be for you?
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Are you enmeshed and fully engaged in your life and work right now? Being so can be a positive state and also, at times, a negative one. You may see yourself as active, vital and committed to your life and work – good for you! What happens, however, when your life and work entangle you in dramas, doubts, fear or uncertainty? At that point, you may want to detach a bit so you can regain your perspective.
Ways to detach include: getting to a place where you are alone, bringing your emotions back in from being all over the place, thinking about what is going on, observing rather than participating, reminding yourself of your values and reaffirming your confidence in yourself.
Detachment empowers you. Balance engagement with detachment and you will be better for it.
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